Steamed vegetables made nice, with a miso, tahini dressing - Tofu&Tempeh
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Steamed vegetables made nice, with a miso, tahini dressing

I have never really understood steamed vegetables. When I see people serve their dinner with what I have always assumed was just a lazy helping of steamed potatoes and carrots, it just seemed like such a waste to me. Fair enough, steaming is usually the optimum cooking method with regard to retaining nutrients that are often lost during the cooking process, but I always try to strike the balance between optimising both flavour and nutrition.

But I wanted to give the steamed vegetable a fair shot, and so sought to come up with a recipe that would elevate what i’ve always thought of as ‘nan veg’, i.e limp, flavourless, almost colourless remnants of once glorious vegetables lost to the steam. So, steamed vegetables meet miso tahini dressing.

Steamed vegetables with a miso tahini dressing
Dressing for one, scale up accordingly

Vegetables; I used, Beetroot, Broccoli, Carrots, Potatoes and some beautiful Romanesco Cauliflower
1 Garlic Clove

A note on cooking times;
Vegetables will of course vary dramatically in how long they need to steam for. Try to cut your vegetables to an equal mass, by which I mean the different vegetables don’t have to be cut to the same size or shape as one another, but rather equate to their density; e.g. a broccoli can be cut in half, where a beetroot cubed for example, where a cube of beetroot would be cut slightly smaller than a cube of potato, that sort of thing. But this shouldn’t be much of concern, you can always remove the individual vegetables if they feel ready and continue to steam ones that need a little longer.

A rough cooking timeline for the vegetables I used;
Beetroot – 25 minutes
Potato – 22 minutes
Carrot – 20 minutes
Romanesco – 10 minutes
Broccoli – 8 minutes

Dressing
1 tbsp tahini
1 tsp miso paste
1.5 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tbsp Olive Oil
2/3 of a lemon
1/2 tsp turmeric powder + a sprinkling of black pepper

 

  1. Fill a saucepan with a small amount of water, only about an inch or two is really needed, bring to the boil, fitting the pan with a steaming basket.
  2. Add your vegetables to the steaming basket, covering with a lid, creating a dome of steam, encasing your vegetables. Set a timer as you go so you have a rough idea of when to add your less dense vegetables. Chuck in your garlic clove as well; this just adds a beautiful light france to the vegetables and is quite wonderful to eat steamed to soft garlicky perfection.
  3. Whilst your vegetables are cooking, it is time to make the dressing. Simply mix all of the ingredients together and stir until a slightly thick, but still pourable and wonderfully smooth dressing is formed.
  4. Keep testing your vegetables; you want them tender in the middle without losing too much of their shape or texture.
  5. When all of your vegetables are steamed to perfection, simply assemble on to a plate, drizzling over your dressing.

Optional extras; This will be lovely as it is, but there are a few things that can be done to really spruce things up;
– Baked tofu (I added some and it made the dish feel a whole lot more substantial; simply season with salt and pepper, add a little oil and bake, cubed, until crispy, about 15-20 minutes)
– Toasted mixed seeds and or nuts
– Herbs such as parsley, coriander and mint
– Substituting olive oil in the dressing for sesame oil to add an added Asian element

So, who knew, steamed vegetables that can actually be enjoyed, not just eaten out of guilt, worried about upsetting your nan!

Thanks for stopping by; let me know what your favourite vegetables to steam are and how you like to serve them.

Till we virtually meet again,
Alex.

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